In order to explore your career and degree interests you need to reflect on who you are and where your interests lie. From here you can explore these interests further, whilst being mindful of who you are - your skills, temperament, personal style, influences and goals. By reflecting on what you have learnt about yourself in the Finding My Direction topic you can assess how well these options match your interests, values and personality.
How to start: Try to think of as many interests as possible. Even if you have discounted a job for some reason, it is important to include it, especially if there are certain aspects of it that still appeal to you. For example, you may have rejected Law because you've heard that Lawyers work very long hours and it gets very stressful.
However, not all Law students want to become Lawyers and there may be other jobs better suited to these students that require an understanding of the Law. So, keep an open mind. It is important to research for yourself the pros, cons and realities of jobs before making a decision.
Document your interest areas in the table below. If you have more interests that you want to explore, simply extend the table. In the study section include any possible majors, minors, electives you are thinking of studying (you can research these on Degrees to Careers or in the program handbooks in What Can I Study?), as well as any study areas you have enjoyed in the past or might enjoy in the future.
How would you start investigating your course?
In order to make an informed choice about which course to start, it is important to...
- Really understand the academic demands of that course:
This includes finding answers to questions such as: entry requirements; subjects covered; and the structure of the course, for example - choice of electives, assessment and opportunities for work integrated learning.
- Find out what assumed knowledge there is:
Whilst there are no pre-requisites for most courses, some do have assumed knowledge. This means exactly what it says - we assume that you have a specific level of knowledge of certain subjects which will enable you to cope with a particular course. Whilst there are students who study these courses without the assumed knowledge, they can find it is much harder to complete the study requirements.
- Have your questions answered
An excellent and effective way to gain advice on the required knowledge of a particular course is through contacting the Course Coordinator. They can also advise you on ways to expand on your 'assumed' knowledge before you start your studies. There are a number of options, including Bridging courses, so ASK! Why make your life more difficult?
Remember, exploring more than one research option can give you an even deeper understanding into a particular course if you need it.
Having looked at the course information in detail, in order to make decisions on majors you should now be able to answer the following questions:
Use the What Can I Study and Degrees to Careers pages to explore the THREE courses that are currently of most interest to you.
Look at the following links to gain more insight into the career outcomes for each course.
Other useful websites include:
At this stage of the module you should have a few ideas regarding some of the occupations that are of interest to you. If you are still struggling to generate ideas the following websites are designed to help you make connections between your subject interests and career outcomes:
You don't need to decide on a specific occupation, rather, you should have an idea of the breadth of opportunities that relate to the course you would like to do. If you start a degree, you'll be looking at a minimum of 3 years before you graduate. In that time there will be jobs created that don't currently exist, so it is good to think about the big picture, be open minded and think of the technical (job specific e.g. IT programming) and personal (e.g. communication or analytical) skills that you may like to develop and use in your career.
You may already have ideas about the kind of industry that you want to work in. If this is linked to a particular occupation, the Further Information section of Myfuture - The Facts will supply you with a list of professional associations, advisory bodies and relevant government departments (you will need to search for a specific occupation to get to this). Industry lists are also available from: Myfuture - Occupations by Industry and Graduate Opportunities - Industries .
You can also go directly to the website of employers that you know of in that industry.
For example, if you are interested in the health sector...
1. Think of the variety of employment opportunities!
The NSW Health website provides a list of occupations, from Medical Engineers to Human Resources staff.
2. Compare and contrast
Look at a range of health service providers such as public and private hospitals, allied health providers, the Defence Force etc.
3. Consider other Industries
Where do people need health care? This may link back to your interests - sport, aid agencies or even Everest base camp!
List 3 industry sectors that interest you, ideas about companies that you could research in that industry and who you could ask for help ie: family and friends who work in the industry.